PREVIEW: Joey Negro ay Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle on 11th September 2015

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To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of specifically going to see DJs, I’m happy if I happen to be somewhere where somebody has selected some good tunes, but it isn’t often (rare) that I would go out of my way to plan a night around seeing a specific record chooser. However, there are certain exceptions. I usually get out to see Craig Charles when he’s in town, Nicolas Laugier (The Reflex) is a genius, Smoove is always a solid performer and Mr Scruff is a constant favourite of mine, but apart from that I’m pretty ambivalent.

I will, however, make an exception for somebody who has created such a furore in Newcastle and beyond that on this, his third visit to Hoochie Coochie, tickets have been flying out months before he is due to perform. He will take me out of my usual comfort zone of jazz and funk and into the world of house, deep house and underground house (I made the last one up). Having done a bit of research, I can tell you that this is pretty high octane dance music, it has the ‘thump thump’ bassline present in most clubs around the world but with top lines much more soulful and funky. It is the perfect music to bridge the gap between the style of band usually on-stage at Hoochie Coochie (funk/soul) and the club-style music that all the kids are listening to these days (and for the past 30 years, get with the program old man!).

Make A Move On Me by Joey Negro

The small but perfectly formed venue is ideal for an up-close and personal DJ set from a man who has been active in one guise or another since the mid-80s. It is likely you may have heard of him under one of his many pseudonyms: Jakatta, Doug Willis, Akabu, Sessomatto, Z Factor, Mistura, Hed Boys, Prospect Park, Foreal People, Kola Kube, Energize, Agora, Swingtime De, Raw Essence or plain old Dave Lee, which is his slightly less glamorous, but nevertheless real name.

To say Joey Negro, or Dave Lee, is prolific would be a huge understatement, the man has produced a colossal volume of work, each one seemingly under a different name! That is a sign of his versatility as he navigates between his musical tastes without creating false expectations amongst his fans. The iteration we will see is that of the funk and soul lover, paying homage to his heroes in the way only the best DJs know how to do. If you manage to get tickets for this night (and you’ll have to be quick if you want them) you can expect to dance, a lot, and probably sweat, so I wouldn’t wear anything white if I were you.

Previewer: Joe Fowler

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